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Recommended Insurance for Sole Proprietor Consultant, Materials Testing, Geotech, General Civil

Recommended Insurance for Sole Proprietor Consultant, Materials Testing, Geotech, General Civil

Recommended Insurance for Sole Proprietor Consultant, Materials Testing, Geotech, General Civil

(OP)
I am planning for a part-time sole proprietorship that provides construction materials testing, geotechnical, and general civil design services. Nuclear densometer included. I would greatly appreciate input from those experienced in this arena.

Names of insurance companies and contact information for those who provide insurance for small entities would be great.

Thank You

RE: Recommended Insurance for Sole Proprietor Consultant, Materials Testing, Geotech, General Civil

More and more insurance companies are getting out of the "small market" these days. There are still several who advertise in the back of the ASCE Magazine, so you might start with checking there.
Dave

Thaidavid

RE: Recommended Insurance for Sole Proprietor Consultant, Materials Testing, Geotech, General Civil

Check out the ASCE program it is administered through Pearl Insurance. They have very competitive rates for small firms.

RE: Recommended Insurance for Sole Proprietor Consultant, Materials Testing, Geotech, General Civil

There is another factor you need to consider. Is your home and other property in your name? A serious claim will look at everything. Consider placing all your assets in your wife's name (if you have one). Also use an attorney to craft your contract to show your wife's assets will be free of any claim against you. I used this before I could afford insurance. However, one never knows what the future holds. Be as prepared as best as yu can against all possibles.

RE: Recommended Insurance for Sole Proprietor Consultant, Materials Testing, Geotech, General Civil

One more. Your contact should state that separation of assets and that hers are not attachable.

RE: Recommended Insurance for Sole Proprietor Consultant, Materials Testing, Geotech, General Civil

Yeah, nothing bad can come from putting everything in your wife's name.

I agree that to the point of protecting yourself the best you can. If you are paranoid about losing everything then you can either:

1) Get a ton of insurance.
2) form a corporation (this has some tax problems associated with it)when operating in different states and, they are not always bullet proof.
3) quit engineering and open a hotdog cart outside a baseball stadium..... Wait, then someone might choke on a hotdog and you might get sued, scratch that.

I was a partner in a PC, when my partner died we dissolved the corporation and I continued on as a SP. So my I have the same insurance that was set up under the previous corporation. I'm waiting for the day when they decide to drop me..... Then the big question..... what's the deal with the tail?

RE: Recommended Insurance for Sole Proprietor Consultant, Materials Testing, Geotech, General Civil

Quote (SteelPE)

Yeah, nothing bad can come from putting everything in your wife's name.

You guys need to stop giving legal advice. In my state, your joint assets are always more protected than solely owned. The OP needs to sit down with an attorney (he's going to need one anyway if he's running a business), and discuss his options.

RE: Recommended Insurance for Sole Proprietor Consultant, Materials Testing, Geotech, General Civil

Quote (Forensic74)

"You guys need to stop giving legal advice." Then proceeds to provide legal advice.
:D ;)

Sorry Forensic, couldn't resist. Great advice though, you shouldn't generally go to a engineer for legal advice just as you shouldn't go to a lawyer for engineering advice.

Professional and Structural Engineer (ME, NH)
American Concrete Industries
www.americanconcrete.com

RE: Recommended Insurance for Sole Proprietor Consultant, Materials Testing, Geotech, General Civil

Forensic: Just checked my state. Can't find any such protection. In my 8 million claim, the transfer of assets was a great benefit. Too complicated to discuss here. I wouldn't trust any such statutory "protection" knowing what some goofy courts have done.

RE: Recommended Insurance for Sole Proprietor Consultant, Materials Testing, Geotech, General Civil

Ha, yea, my point was that it really varies by state and that you need to sit down with an experienced attorney who has a feel for how the courts act in your state, AND who has seen a bunch of scenereos firsthand. What will really make your brain spin is if you do work in many different states.... I sat down with an attorney and came up a strategy that works for me, and it wasn't that expensive of a process.

For example, I learned from my attorney that in my state all assets are ultimately at risk, but it boils down to the number of "hurdles" you place in front of them. I was surprised to learn that IRA and 401k funds have different risks. Putting everything in the wife's name is not without risk as well....what happens if she's sued for an auto accident, or something that isn't covered by liability insurance, etc.

RE: Recommended Insurance for Sole Proprietor Consultant, Materials Testing, Geotech, General Civil

Running any business is not without risks. Life is risky and nothing we do will prevent it from ending at some point. There are almost certainly more businesses killed or prevented from being created due to the financial burden of insurance than are helped by having insurance. There are many personal choices to be made, and no one right answer.

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